Typically the two sectors would respectively account for 34% and 24% of total demand, with the rest consumed in industrial and investment markets.
"China and Japan are the top two platinum-consuming nations and together account for 35.5% of global demand," senior mining analyst Ankita Awasthi told Mining Journal.
Demand from China and Japan is expected to fall by 9.2% and 11.8%, respectively. In China, the metal demand for jewellery, industrial/investment, automotive and other uses will contract by 14%, 4.6% and 3.9%, respectively. In Japan, metal demand from these segments is expected to decline by 14% for autocatalysts, 12.1% for jewellery and 7.5% for industrial uses.
However, increasingly tight emissions standards are to buoy metal demand from the auto sector over the coming years.
While the recent decision to defer further implementation of the ‘China 6' emissions standard across the country by six months to January will delay consumption growth between 2020-2024, platinum demand from the automotive industry is forecast to grow by a CAGR of 3.8% globally, and by 9.5% in China.
"Between 2020 and 2024, overall platinum demand is expected to increase by a CAGR of 4.3%, supported also by higher metal demand from industrial/investment and jewellery uses, which are expected to grow at respective CAGRs of 3.9% and 5.5% over the period. Demand for platinum in China and Japan is expected to expand at respective CAGRs of 5.2% and 2.4% over the forecast period," said Awasthi.
A May report by global platinum refiner Johnson Matthey also flagged autocatalyst demand to contract sharply on temporary plant closures, weak consumer demand and increased thrifting. While it said at the time it was not possible to quantify the market changes, "the COVID-19 pandemic will inflict significant damage on PGM supply and demand in 2020".
"Both primary and secondary supplies will contract, due to temporary shutdowns at many mining operations, and disruption to the collection and refining of PGM-containing scrap."
Platinum spot prices have recovered from a precipitous drop mid-March to US$588/oz and are currently trading at about $880/oz, short of a 12-month high of $1,022/oz in January.